The Devil is the Father of Rock'n'roll: the imagery of Evil in foreign music

Tags: Revista de Teologia & Cultura, Ano VI, Lucifer, Marilyn Manson, Count Dracula, Fallen Angel, Ozzy Osbourne, 666 the Number of the Beast, heavy metal band, Black Sabbath
Content: The Devil is the Father of Rock'n'roll: the imagery of Evil in foreign music Pricila Reis Franz1
Summary: this article intends to analyse how the image of the Devil is presented in songs, in particular in rock'n'roll with English lyrics. It is supported by theoretical references on theo-poetry in especial those found in the works of Nogueira, Coustй and Messadiй. Key-words: Devil, rock'n'roll, image Assim, a luta religiosa conferiu ao Diabo o seu estatuto e grandiosidade: o Demфnio й o grande rebelde [Thus the religious struggle gave the Devil his status of grandiosity: the Demon is the great rebel.] (Nogueira, 1995, p. 157) Music has always been associated with the ambit of the sacred (because it evokes feelings and the sublime). The angels sing hymns in praise of God, David sang and danced at the temple. The "evil-thing"2, the eternal monkey, the imitator (or as Zeca Baleiro says, the cover) of God, could not but have his own followers in the musical ambit. Even before rock'n'roll, some musicians were associated with the demon: for example Paganini3 and Robert Johnson4. However, no musical movement was ever so directly
1 Pricila Reis Franz has an MA in Brazilian, Portuguese and Luso-African literature from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. She is a translator and a copy-editor and has a site on the Internet ) where she acts as web-writer and disseminates culture (in particular Brazilian culture), by making possible the download of books non-restricted to private use. E-mail: [email protected] 2 Some of the various "names" used for the Devil in this article were created in the popular culture, extracted from it and used by Guimarгes Rosa in his masterpiece Grande Sertгo: Veredas [in English: The Devil to Pay in the Backlands]. Here, most of these names will be used in the original Portuguese form. 3 According to popular beliefs (as described on the site , accessed on Dec 8, 2006) he formed a group and killed several men, husbands of the women with whom he had affairs. People swore that they had seen Satan guiding his hand, holding the arch over the violin strings
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associated with the world of darkness as rock'n'roll. With its origin in the post-war context, in the 50s, the rock'n'roll became a symbol of adolescent rebellion, youths who contested the society's morals and were involved with various addictions and vices. Association of rock and roll with Satanism was almost immediate. After all, in the Christian universalism the figure of the "lame one" adopts the "role of the Father of Disobedience, referring its existence to a much broader perspective: every human being's free will to choose between Goodness and Evil."5 Thus, according to Calvani, all that was different from and did not fit in with Christianity became an object of mistrust and was associated with evil. O Diabo, em todo caso, sempre foi considerado como o princнpio de contestaзгo da ordem, de desarticulaзгo de uma sociedade, de desequilнbrio ou de degradaзгo moral da mesma. A ele foram atribuнdos os vнcios ­ alcoolismo, jogos de azar, prazeres do corpo, atividade sexual extraconjugal etc. O Diabo й a personificaзгo de tudo o que representa a oposiзгo a um padrгo tido como divino. A ele estгo associadas as imagem de rebeldia, irreverкncia, ironia, falsidade, dissimulaзгo etc. Enfim, o Diabo cumpre ainda a excelente funзгo de bode expiatуrio da sociedade: ele carrega nossos impulsos e й a causa final de nossos desequilнbrios. Nгo й de espantar que durante o contexto de pуs-guerra e Guerra Fria, anos 1950 e 1960, quando alguns setores jovens do primeiro mundo comeзaram a questionar antigos valores morais e religiosos atravйs do rock and roll, os grupos mais conservadores nгo hesitaram em qualificar como de inspiraзгo demonнaca tais atos de rebeldia juvenil. O novo gкnero musical serviu como luva para os questionamentos de muitos jovens desestruturados socialmente e que encontraram nas guitarras elйtricas e baterias suas armas de contestaзгo a um sistema rнgido que nгo oferecia muitas oportunidades de sucesso senгo o enquadramento e a submissгo а lуgica do sistema. E tal como acontecia na Idade Mйdia, quando apуs vбrias sessхes de tortura fнsica, psнquica e religiosa algumas mulheres e homens "confessavam" ter feito pactos com o ser sinistro, alguns grupos aceitaram a provocaзгo e incorporaram o substantivo "Diabo" como fonte de inspiraзгo para toda a sua insatisfaзгo social.6 [In any case, the Devil has always been regarded as the principle of contestation of the order, of disarticulation of a society, of mental instability or moral degradation of that same society. All
during his concerts. Others affirmed to have seen the Devil's assistants leaving the theatre where Paganini had just played, getting on a wagon and following a road that didn't even exist. 4 A 30s blues artist who directly or indirectly influenced the entire rock'n'roll scene. He recorded just over twenty songs. Robert Johnson said he had made a pact with the Devil in exchange for his musicality and success, and dealt with this theme in one of his songs. The film Crossroads, with Ralph Macchio, (the boy from Karate Kid) deals superficially with Robert Johnson's story. Apparently he died poisoned by a betrayed husband. 5 Nogueira, 1995, p. 71. 6 Available on: . Accessed on Feb 21, 2007.
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vices have been ascribed to him: alcoholism, gambling, the pleasures of the flesh, extra-marital sex, etc. The Devil is the personification of everything that represents opposition to a model regarded as divine. Images of rebelliousness, irreverence, irony, falsity, dissimulation, etc. are all associated with him. Finally, the Devil also plays the excellent role of society's scapegoat; he carries our impulses and is the final reason for our unbalances. It is no surprise that in the Post-War period and during the Cold War, in the 50s and 60s, when some young sectors in the First World began to challenge former moral and religious values through rock and roll, the more conservative groups did not hesitate and began to qualify these acts of juvenile rebellion as the result of demoniac inspiration. The new musical style was perfect for the questioning of many socially unstructured youths. They found in the electric guitars and drums the weapons they needed to contest a rigid system that did not offer many opportunities of success beyond those offered by an acceptance and submission to the logic of the system. And as it had happened in the Middle Ages, when, after several sessions of physical, psychical and religious torture some women and men "confessed" to have made a pact with the sinister being, some groups accepted the provocation and incorporated the noun "Devil" as source of inspiration for their entire social dissatisfaction.] So, from its roots, rock and roll was always associated one way or the other with occultism. Even if not directly associated with Devil worship, rock and roll has often been accused of inciting rebellion against current costumes and systems, of emphasizing hedonism and individualism7 and of awakening violent feelings in the youths. The valorization of pleasure and leisure has always been associated with evil. Life on earth should be a type of exile, a vale of tears, so that, through suffering, one can deserve eternal life in heaven. For a long time in Christianity laughter and pleasure were related to Satan and hell: "Everywhere, the Demon conducts this sad concert: fun is not God's gift, but the Devil's".8 Rock and roll "imitates" the "Marrafo" and this means, according to Coustй, rebelar-se contra a opressгo, recusar-se а submissгo entendida como uma fatalidade inamovнvel, conhecer em vez de repetir, ser consciente do uno entre a multidгo, fornicar com alegria, gozar dos sentidos, sу se arrepender de ter deixado de aproveitar uma experiкncia, negar os dogmas em benefнcio da investigaзгo (1996, p. 282). [to rebel against oppression, to refuse the submission understood as immovable fatality, to know instead of repeating, to be aware of the one in a crowd, to fornicate with joy, to enjoy the 7 Summary of the controversial British Satanist Aleister Crowley's thought: "Do what you want, everything will be under the law". His work influenced compositions throughout the career of rock and roll bands and writers. A self-proclaimed lover of drugs and sex, author of books about occultism, a poet, and the leader of a cult called Ordo Templis Orientis (OTO) the bases of which he defended in one of his writings, Thelema that according to him was dictated by a spirit called Aiwass. 8 Minois, 2003, p. 130.
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senses, to only regret not to have made use of an experience, to deny the dogmas in benefit of investigation.] With the existing accusations, some bands decided to prolong the controversy, intentionally or unintentionally. The most important reason for the accusations of Satanism in the last two decades is the fact that many rock and roll stars openly adopted a demoniac attitude (or at least a demoniac appearance). This is the case of Kiss (the bass-player Gene Simons even "vomited" blood), Ozzy Osbourne (known as the "Prince of Darkness" and who even bit off the head of a bat on stage), Alice Cooper, Wasp, etc ­ while others often deal with the theme of occultism, or Satanism ­ such as the Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Venom, Trust, Slayer, Poison, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Doors (vocalist Jim Morrison married a witch in a pagan ritual and claimed to have inside him the ghost of an Indian wizard, a "xamг"), the Beatles (John Lennon was a scholar of the British wizard Aleister Crowley, who is even shown on the cover of the LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) and Led Zeppelin (accused of having Satanic themes hidden in its lyrics recorded backwards; (the guitarist Jimmy Page was also a serious scholar of the British wizard Aleister Crowley and even bought his mansion) among many others. The lyrics of the rock'n'roll songs have, then, a broad connection with devilish things, reaffirming its concepts, its rebellion against "goodness" or describing the very essence of "evil". The present article will give priority to the latter category analyzing how the figure of the "Hound" is presented in the musical compositions. According to Frye, in O cуdigo dos cуdigos, "the academic objective is to see what something means and not to accept or reject it."9 We realized that there were numerous songs related to the "Malignant" and the selection of just a few for analysis was an exhaustive task. We opted for emphasizing the most significant ones and those that showed a different aspect of the Devil. Moreover, the research field was restricted to songs produced abroad, seeking a general view produced by the world's rockers. With this it becomes possible to notice that there is more than one way to present the "Grimy one" in the songs: from the "fallen angel of light" to the medieval bestiary and even to the, wise, elegant and melancholic human personification that makes a
9 2004, p. 19.
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deal with Faust. All lyrics were taken from the site accessed on December 8, 2006. In the first song analysed ­ previous to rock'n'roll and its forerunner, Me and the Devil Blues (1936) by Robert Johnson, we see that evil is associated with social disorder and violence: Early this morning when you knocked upon my door And I said "Hello Satan I believe it's time to go" Me and the Devil was walking side by side I'm goin' to beat my woman until I get satisfied She say you don't see why that I will dog her `round It must be that ol' evil spirit so deep down in the ground You may bury my body down by the highway side So my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride man's transgression is justified by "demoniac possession". The human being's guilt is transferred to the "old demoniac spirit" that takes hold of the body. After the pact with the Devil, the latter uses the man's body and starts to present a sick behaviour to society. This agrees with Wegner: "The action of the demons [...] is restricted to causing either physical or psychic illnesses."10 The Fallen Angel Among the various images of the Malignant presented in the rock'n'roll lyrics is that of the Fallen Angel. He still maintains his angelic aura and the angelic attributes that were degraded ­ until they reached bestiality - in the Middle Ages and recovered after Romanticism. The song Angel of Light (1994) by Mercyful Fate, a Danish band whose main characteristics are the presence of human bones in the decoration of the stage and the
10 2003, p. 89.
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Satanic appearance of singer King Diamond ­ now in a solo career, famous for sleeping inside a coffin and being able to speak from back to front (a trait also regarded as demoniac) - brings this characterization of the fallen angel of light: I have seen Him there Master of Light, Master of the night Master of all the things that shine Oh I believe... I believe in all that I have seen And I have seen the Angel Of Light I have seen the Angel Of Light... Lucifer I have seen Him there Deep down where THE DEVILS dwell Deep down in the darkest well I will make a second deal with the Prince Of Light Never will break the Oath I gave that night Shine in all your glory, shine your light on me I have seen Him there Deep down where the Devils dwell Deep down in the darkest well In this song, we see Lucifer with his original traits, as "Master of Light" "of all things that shine", all in all, the "Angel of Light". However his degradation starts to show because he is now in "the depth, in the deepest well". The lyrical self proposes to establish another pact with the "Prince of Light" (another of Lucifer's titles) asking that his light and glory may shine on his follower. According to Coustй, a ideia de que o Diabo nгo perdeu seus atributos angйlicos nгo й nova. Ao contrбrio, a decadкncia de sua imagem e a necessidade que a cultura teve de atribuir-lhe o papel de protagonista no drama da expiaзгo fizeram simplesmente com que este conceito saнsse de moda, mas viera а tona, embora timidamente, no pensamento e na obra daqueles que refletiram sobre o tema. [...] Lъcifer, o portador da luz, й pelo contrбrio a personificaзгo da Gnose, que livra o homem das cadeias da ignorвncia e permite-lhe libertar-se da escravidгo em que o mantйm o criador deste mundo mau (1996, p. 102 e 106) (our italics). [the idea that the Devil has not lost his angelic attributes is not new. On the contrary, the decadence of his image and the need the culture had of assigning him the protagonist's role in
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the expiation drama simply made the concept go out of fashion but then come up again - even if timidly - in the thought and work of those who reflected upon the theme [...] Lucifer, the carrier of light is, on the contrary, the personification of the Gnosis that frees man from the chains of ignorance and allows him to become free from the slavery in which he is kept by the creator of the evil world.] It is no wonder, then, that rock'n'roll is associated with the "Angel of Light" as he is the personification of the Gnosis, freeing man from ignorance and from all the rules established by current society. Like Lucifer, the rockers wanted to rebel against the system, seeking to free Young People from the morality and alienation in which they lived and there is nothing que irrite ou desassossegue mais o poder ­ e a Igreja nгo й uma exceзгo ­ que o exercнcio desse atributo da espйcie. [...] Na grandiosa, e provavelmente interminбvel, luta da espйcie pela conquista da liberdade, o homem intui que o Diabo й o seu antecessor, seu espelho, talvez mesmo o seu cъmplice. Й do interesse da cultura, do poder e da repressгo que a morfologia de toda ordem gregбria supхe que essa intuiзгo nгo se converta numa certeza. Se isso ocorresse, a identificaзгo do homem com o Diabo seria inevitбvel, e o Grande Rebelde coroaria finalmente a obra de sua incansбvel paciкncia: a liberdade do indivнduo para alйm de qualquer reflexгo que a limite; a dissoluзгo das formas no caos (Coustй, 1996, p. 104) ­(our italics). [that will irritate Power ­ and the Church is no exception - more or make it more uneasy than the exercise of this attribute of the species[...]. In the grandiose and probably unending struggle of the species for the achievement of freedom, man has the intuition that the Devil is his predecessor, his mirror, perhaps even his accomplice. It is on the interest of the culture, of power and repression that the morphology of every gregarious order presupposes that this intuition will not become reality. If this happened man's identification with the Devil would be unavoidable, and the Great Rebel would finally crown the work of his untiring patience: the individual's freedom beyond any limiting reflection; the dissolution of forms in the chaos.] Alice Cooper also gets hold of the rebelliousness and Satanism of rock'n'roll by creating a grotesque kind of makeup that will inspire groups such as Kiss, Lordi and Marilyn Manson. The song Prince of Darkness (1987) brings Lucifer's image as an angel of light that falls into the depths. The decadence, however, becomes stronger in these lyrics. An angel fell one stormy night From Heaven's Glory He split the earth to reign in Hell He fears the light He fears the truth He fears what's going to be
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He spits on life He spits on God He spits up death for you and me Prince of Darkness Studies the world with hungry eyes Prince of Darkness Ready to baptize you in lies Heart of evil, soul of blackness Prince of Darkness He saw that man was just a boy With a baby's mind He swore damnation of God's creation He lives for hate He lives for tears He lives up to his name He knew the light He knew the one Who was crucified in pain Prince of Darkness Studies the world with hungry eyes Prince of Darkness Ready to baptize you in lies Heart of evil, soul of blackness Prince of Darkness He fears the light He fears the truth He fears what's going to be He spits on life He spits on God He spits up death for you and me Prince of Darkness
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Studies the world with hungry eyes Prince of Darkness Ready to baptize you in lies Heart of evil, soul of blackness Prince of Darkness He smells the breath Of sweet human sin And deeply breathes it in Prince of Darkness In this song it is possible to see an angel who is afraid precisely of that he is made of ("light"), attached to the filthinesses of the world ("spit"), instinctive, "father of the lie" and that considers God's creation (the human being) as a baby, with a baby's mind, a puppet in the divine and diabolic games. Alice Cooper's Prince of Darkness has an image similar to that of Milton's Devil that, as Coustй himself affirms, [...] й um Diabo que nunca deixou de ser Lъcifer ­ a estrela da manhг, o mais belo e perfeito dos anjos ­ e que se consome no espantoso fracasso de sua potestade. Digno, nгo pode admitir a derrota; derrotado, nгo pode afastar a melancolia; melancуlico, a prуpria apatia mergulha-o no infinito vazio de seu amor: ali onde a beleza jб nгo conta e lhe й esquiva; exercita-se apenas para a sua taciturna certeza de possuн-la (1996, p. 31) ­ (our italics) [...] it is a Devil that never ceased being Lъcifer ­ the morning star, the most beautiful and most perfect of all angels ­ that expends himself in the horrible failure of his power. Worthy, he cannot admit his defeat; defeated, he cannot push away his melancholy; melancholic, his very apathy plunges him in the empty infinity of his love: there where beauty no longer counts and moves away from him; he exercises himself only because of his taciturn certainty of having it.] In the song Sympathy for the Devil (1968)11 the Rolling Stones were the first rock'n'roll band to approach the Satanic theme in their lyrics (such as Dancing with Mr. D.) and in the titles of their LPs, such as Their Satanic Majesties Request from 1967. In several LPs they made reference to Satanism or Voodoo, as in the albums Goats Head Soup (in pictures of the insert) and in the album Voodoo Lounge. Moreover, vocalist Mick Jagger explores his sexuality and seductiveness on stage and in the media and is often compared to Faust. In Sympathy for the Devil the main character is the "Galant one" singing in the first person.
11 According to the song-writers this is a "samba" written after a visit to an Umbanda centre in Bahia.
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The song was apparently inspired by Anthony LaVey, the most influential Satanist of the 20th century, founder and leader of the Church of Satan. Please allow me to introduce myself I'm a man of wealth and taste I've been around for a long, long year Stole many a man's soul and faith And I was `round when Jesus Christ Had his moment of doubt and pain Made damn sure that Pilate Washed his hands and sealed his fate Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name But what's puzzling you Is the nature of my game I stuck around St. Petersburg When I saw it was a time for a change Killed the Czar and his ministers Anastasia screamed in vain I rode a tank Held a general's rank When the Blitzkrieg raged And the bodies stank I watched with glee While your kings and queens Fought for ten decades for the gods they made I shouted out "Who killed the Kennedys?" When after all It was you and me Let me please introduce myself
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I'm a man of wealth and taste And I laid traps for troubadors Who get killed before they reached Bombay Just as every cop is a criminal And all the sinners saints As heads is tails Just call me Lucifer `Cause I'm in need of some restraint So if you meet me Have some courtesy Have some sympathy, and some taste Use all your well-learned politesse Or I'll lay your soul to waste Tell me baby, what's my name Tell me honey, can ya guess my name Tell me baby, what's my name I tell you one time, you're to blame The Lucifer named and described in this Rolling Stones' song is a being that is present in all the crucial events of the human being's history, particularly in the most cruel ones, those marked by wars (represented by the WW2 described in the verses, "I rode a tank/ Held a general's rank/When the Blitzkrieg raged/ And the bodies stank") and violence (through the verses "I stuck around St.Petersburg/ When I saw it was time for a change/Killed the Tsar and his ministers/Anastasia screamed in vain" that refer to the defeat of Tsarism in Russia and the birth of the origins of communism (Anastasia was the last Tsar's daughter and her whole family was killed). The Devil presents human characteristics ("I'm a man of wealth and taste"): he is ironical, "uncontrolled", demands that people should be courteous and polite in his presence, and should have good taste. It is a contemporary malignant image, reformulated after Romanticism, in which the Devil ceases to be "the Beast" to become Faust's Mephistopheles; that is, a being with human characteristics having and spreading great knowledge and wisdom. Besides, Lucifer in this
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song shows his ambiguity ("But what's puzzling/confusing you is the nature of my game"), for only "Goodness" can be associated with that which is clear, pure and sharp. The composition is, finally, Lucifer's "outpouring", questioning who is really to blame for the human tragedy, that is, the human beings themselves. It is possible also to establish a parallel with the Raul Seixas' song Eu nasci hб dez mil anos atrбs [I was born ten thousands years ago],12 probably inspired by the Rolling Stones' song, for both bring Lucifer's omniscience and omnipresence in the most shocking moments of humankind. Calvani comments that uma publicaзгo da йpoca, por exemplo, afirmava que o Espнrito Santo revelara que a canзгo "Eu nasci hб dez mil anos atrбs" manifestava quem era seu verdadeiro compositor: o prуprio Diabo, que confessava ter sido criado por Deus antes da fundaзгo do mundo e que estivera por trбs dos principais acontecimentos da histуria da humanidade descritos na canзгo, como a crucificaзгo de Jesus e a Segunda Guerra Mundial.13 [a publication of the time, for instance, affirmed that the Holy Ghost had revealed that the song "I was Born ten thousand years ago" showed who was its true composer: the Devil himself, who confessed having been created by God before the creation of the world and who had been behind the main events in the history of humankind described in the song, such as Jesus' crucifixion and the Second World War.] Marilyn Manson also brings another image of the "Dirty one" because the artist himself presents himself as an androgenic and hermaphrodite being, characteristically diabolic. According to Coustй "to presuppose that the Devil is hermaphrodite ­ as indeed "it" is, insofar as it can manifest itself in the male or female form ­ is nothing else but to worship
12 free translation: One Day in a street of this town/ I saw an old man sitting on the pavement/ with a bowl for alms and a guitar in his hand/ People stopped to hear, he thanked for the coins/ And he sang this song that told a story/ that went more or less like that? I was born ten thousand years ago/ there is nothing in this world that I don't know too much of (twice)/ I saw Christ being crucified/ love being born and being murdered/ I saw the witches catching fire to pay for their sins/ I saw/ I saw Moses crossing the Red Sea/ I saw Mohammed fall on his knees/ I saw Peter denying Christ three times in front of a mirror/ I saw/ I was born ten thousand years ago/ I saw the candles being lit for the Pope/ I saw Babylon being crossed off the map/ I saw Count Dracula sucking new blood and hiding behind his cloak/ I saw Noah's ark crossing the seas? I saw Solomon sing his psalms through the air/ I saw Zumbi flee with the blacks to the forest/ to Quilombo dos Palmares/ I saw (I was born) ten thousand years ago. I saw the blood that run down the mountain/when Hitler called the whole of Germany/ I saw the soldier who dreamed of his lover in a camping bed/ I read/I read the Sacred Symbols of the Umbanda/ I was a child to be able to play ring ringa roses/ And when all cursed the cold/ I made my bed in the verandah/ I was together with the monkeys in the cave/ I drank wine with the women in the tavern/ And when the stone fell from the cliff/ I also broke my leg/ I also was a witness of Rapunzel's love/ I saw David's star shine in the sky/ And to whoever proves that I am lying/ I'll take my hat off/ I was born etc. 13 Available on: . Accessed on: Feb 21, 2007.
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the old nostalgia of the androgenic, this self-sufficient myth that can be traced back to the most primitive rites of humankind" (1996,p.35) In the song Mister Superstar, of 1996, we note that Marilyn Manson brings a modern version of the "cramulhano" as a Superstar, an idol and icon of present times. Hey Mr. Superstar: "I'll do anything for you" "I'm your number one fan" Hey Mr. Porno star, I, I, I, I want you Hey Mr. Sickly star I want to get sick from you Hey Mr. Fallen star Don't you know I worship you? Hey Mr. Big rock star "I wanna grow up just like you" I know that I can turn you on I wish I could just turn you off I never wanted this Hey Mr. Superhate I just want to love you Hey, hey, hey Mr. Superfuck I wanna go down on you Hey mr. Supergod Will you answer my prayers? Hey, hey, hey Mr. Superman I want to be your little girl Hey Mr. Superstar I'll kill myself for you Hey Mr. Superstar I'll kill you if I can't have you Superstar, superfuck baby...
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In this song the "Temba" is presented as a TV star, a rock'n'roll star, a summary of all the vices of our times: sex, suicide, pornography, hate, unrestrained pleasure. It is the Super-Faust, the portrait of present day society that worships the media idols. Manson changes these icons into symbols of Evil. Another rock'n'roll group known for a supposed connection with Satanism, particularly because of its mascot, "The Eddie" who apparently is an evil being, is the Iron Maiden. Several of their songs deal with the Satanic theme. In the song The Fallen Angel (2000) we notice the presence of Azazel14 one of the first names given to Satan in the Bible, that is, the Devil's prefigure: Azazel is beside you and he's playing the game Demons are inside you and theyre making their play Watching and they're hiding as they wait for the time For a devil to get ready and take over your mind You and only God would know what could be done You and only God will know I am the only one You and only God would know what could be done You and only God will know I am the chosen one Could it be it's the end of our world? All the things that we cherish and love Nothing left but to face this all on my own `Cause I am the chosen one Could it be its the end of our world? All the things that we cherish and love Nothing left but to face this all on my own `Cause I am the chosen one
14 As described in the Leviticus (16:8-10, 20-22) "And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. [...] And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness".
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Beaten fallen angel but I've risen again And the power is inside me, I've decided to pray As I wait for Armageddon and it's coming my way It's an honour to be chosen and I wait for the day In this song the former "defeated Fallen Angel" (here described as Azazel) dialogues with the listeners, stating that the demons are around them, that they are going to possess them, that the Armageddon (the end of the world) is near, that they were chosen for this final time, to reappear in a glorious form. Luxury and the diabolic passion The vices of passion and luxury are also closely related to the "Azarape". For this reason, in various songs, Lucifer appears in love, as, for instance, in the song N.I.B. from 1970 by the group Black Sabbath: Some people say my love cannot be true Please believe me, my love, and I'll show you I will give you those things you thought unreal The sun, the moon, the stars all bear my seal Follow me now and you will not regret Leaving the life you led before we met You are the first to have this love of mine Forever with me till the end of time Your love for me has just got to be real Before you know the way I'm going to feel I'm going to feel I'm going to feel Now I have you with me, under my power Our love grows stronger now with every hour Look into my eyes, you will see who I am My name is Lucifer, please take my hand The band Black Sabbath was the first one to openly adopt a satanic theme and attire. The name Black Sabbath refers to a gathering of witches. The band's albums are sometimes
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
decorated with crosses and demons. On the cover of the LP Reflection, for instance, we read: "You, silly fool, holding this record in your hands, be sure that with it you have sold your soul because it will soon be caught in this infernal rhythm, in the diabolic strength of this music". Ozzy Osbourne himself (a former vocalist) developed a demoniac appearance, with heavy makeup and even red contact lenses. His song Suicide Solution (even if not speaking of Satan) was accused of encouraging suicide among young people. In the song N.I.B. (although some people affirm that the initials meant "Nativity in Black", the band claims that they are only the nickname of the drummer Bill Ward), Lucifer is in love for the first time, a possessive kind of love that gives the loved one all the stars, the sun and other impossible things in exchange for submission. In the song She is my sin (2000) by the Finnish heavy metal band Nightwish passion is directly associated with luxury. Take heed, dear heart Once apart, she can touch nor me nor you Dressed as one A wolf will betray a lamb Lead astray the gazers The razors on your seducing skin In the meadow of sinful thoughts Every flower's perfect To paradise with pleasure haunted by fear A sin for him Desire within A burning veil For the bride too dear for him A sin for him Desire within Fall in love with your deep dark sin I am the Fallen You are what my sins enclose Lust is not as creative
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
As its discovery To paradise with pleasure haunted by fear A sin for him... Bless me, undress me Pick your prey in a wicked way God I must confess... ...I do envy the sinners The "she" of the title (who can be compared with a succubus15) is the reason for the lyrical self's sin. According to Coustй, no dizer do nъmida Lactвncio ­ digno servidor de Deus de fins do sйculo III ­, daquela uniгo angйlico-humana, que nгo estava prevista na Criaзгo, surgiu a raзa dos нncubos e sъcubos, cuja carnadura admitiria todos os estados intermediбrios da matйria: nгo sгo inteiramente homens ou mulheres nem demфnios, estгo submetidos а morte, mas possuem igualmente o dom da metamorfose; nгo tкm acesso ao cйu nem ao inferno, e sua permanente morada й a terra. Dotados, sem dъvida, de alma imortal, uma vez perecida sua carne nгo tкm outro remйdio senгo ficarem indefinidamente na ambiguidade do limbo, de onde se manifestam em formas esporбdicas e elementais. Seriam, portanto, os fantasmas, trasgos, silfos, duendes e similares, que, como uma procissгo de sombras, acompanham os seus meios-irmгos desde o comeзo da espйcie (1996, p. 44) [According to the Numidian Lactantius ­ a worthy serf of God in the late 3rd Century ­ of that angelic-human union, unforeseen in the Creation, there appeared the race of the incubus e succubus, whose appearance would admit all the intermediary states of the matter: they are not entirely male or female, and not demons either; they are subjected to death but have the gift of metamorphosis; they have no access to heaven or to hell and their permanent dwelling is the earth. Endowed with an immortal soul, once their flesh perishes they have no alternative but to remain indefinitely in the ambiguity of limbo, from where they manifest in sporadic and elementary forms. They would be, therefore, ghosts, hobgoblins, sylphs, elves and other similar beings, which, as a procession of shadows, follow their half brothers and sisters since the beginning of the species.] Just as the lyrics speak of this type of luxury, the rock'n'roll rhythm and its swing refer to sexuality.
A Parody of God
15 A demon in female form supposed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men, disturbing their sleep and giving them nightmares.
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
Another image of the "Sad one" that appears in the rock'n'roll lyrics is the imitator who parodies God's acts and other things. The band Mercyful Fate, for instance, wrote Lucifer, in 1996, that is nothing but a parody of the main Christian prayer, the Lord's Prayer: Our father who are in Hell Hallowed be thy name Thy kingdom is come Thy will is done On earth as it is in Hell We take this night our rightful due And trespass not on the path of He Lead us unto temptation And deliver us from false piety For thine is the Kingdom And the Power And the Glory Forever Shemhamforash!16 The lyrics are obviously sarcastic when they parody the main Christian prayer. Even the word "Shemhamforash" that would be God's secret name, is stolen and used to name the imitator, the "God's monkey", that is, the "Left handed". According to Coustй,17 to imitate God "Satan must have a shocking and secret name, the mere pronunciation of which would unchain the most ferocious consequences". Lucifer mocks God when he steals His name, when he parodies His prayer. According to Minois, "laughter is not natural in Christianity, par excellence a serious religion [...] it is rather connected with imperfection, with corruption, with the fact that the creatures are fallen, do not coincide with His model and with His ideal essence".18 Then the laughs, the electric guitars, the distortions, the shouts and guttural voices also refer to the devil because they remind us of the most instinctive part of the human being, precisely that which is farthest from the divine. According to Minois,
16 See: . Accessed on: Fev 24, 2007. 17 1996, p. 30. 18 2003, p. 111-112
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
agora, pode-se rir. Hб de que: rir do outro, desse fantoche ridнculo, nu, que tem um sexo, que peida e arrota, que defeca, que se fere, que cai, que se engana, que se prejudica, que se torna feio, que envelhece e que morre ­ um ser humano, bolas!, uma criatura decaнda. O riso vai se insinuar por todas as imperfeiзхes humanas (p. 112-113). [now we can laugh. We have something to laugh about: about the other, this ridiculous puppet, nude, having genitals, who farts and burps, who defecates, who hurts himself, who falls, who makes mistakes, who harms himself, who becomes ugly, gets old and dies ­ a human being, after all, a fallen creature. Laughter will work itself into all human imperfections.] Parties, pleasure, savagery make part of the Evil's kingdom: "Those who spend their time in joy will spend eternity in pain".19 Songs like Mysteria20 by Edguy (2004) describe Sabbaths, diabolic parties carried out in the Middle Ages by witches. Here they serve to invoke Lucifer who appears when the lyrical self wishes, similarly to Faust's invocation. Ladies and Gentlemen Welcome to the Freakshow The world around is killing me No thunder, wind and rain Eels are crawling everywhere Compounding with the game Grind the army, the living dead, Without destination The faceless crowd is out to kill All kinds of variations You're trying to trample down my dreams A shot in the dark Mysteria - the spirit arising Eldritch cries from the hill Mysteria - fires are blazing Their wicked feast is shattering the still Seven days and nights a week Spinning like a wheel You try to buckle, bend and break 19 Minois, 2003, p. 144. 20 Latin word meaning "mysteries" that is, the song describes mysterious things that happen at night.
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
And polish stainless steel Raging fury in the sky Burning with desire Self-determination rising from the fire You're trying to trample down my dreams My disdained ideals Beware of the difference You've savage and mean - we're a Evil is the dreamer to pit himself Against the forces of the tide You pay the seer to portray What you wanna hear What he has seen that night Oh - unholy is the feast Watch us dance Around the blazing hellfire And Lucifer arises He appears at my desire The setting in which the Sabbath is carried out is that of the pagan parties that took place around the bonfire, at night, a convenient time for the world of dreams, for mystery. Pleasure, mystery, luxury and violence combine, and help to create the environment in which Lucifer raises. Oneiric and infernal environment similar to the one described in the song The Number of the Beast, one of the greatest hits of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden from 1982. Woe to you, Oh Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short... Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty six.
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
I left alone my mind was blank I needed time to get the memories from my mind What did I see can I believe that what I saw that night was real and not just fantasy Just what I saw in my old dreams were the reflections of my warped mind staring back at me `Cause in my dreams it's always there the evil face that twists my mind and brings me to despair The night was black was no use holding back `Cause I just had to see was someone watching me In the mist dark figures move and twist Was all this for real or some kind of hell 666 the Number of the Beast Hell and fire was spawned to be released Torches blazed and sacred chants were praised as they start to cry hands held to the sky In the night the fires burning bright the ritual has begun Satan's work is done 666 the Number of the Beast Sacrifice is going on tonight This can't go on I must inform the law Can this still be real or some crazy dream but I feel drawn towards the evil chanting hordes they seem to mesmerize me...can't avoid their eyes
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
666 the Number of the Beast 666 the one for you and me I'm coming back I will return And I'll possess your body and I'll make you burn I have the fire I have the force I have the power to make my evil take its course Having launched the LP The Number of the Beast the Iron Maiden began to be frequently called Satanist, though it rarely deals with the theme. The mascot Eddie (a friendly dead-alive) of the LP covers is often associated with a demon. The lyrics were based on the film The Omen II. A relevant aspect to consider is the Sound Effects: in the beginning of the song, during the spoken Apocalypse passage, one hears a grave and dull voice and later, between the first sung verses, one hears a desperate cry that creates the agonizing atmosphere demanded by the theme of the song. This is a free interpretation of what is said about the Beast in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Like St.John, the lyrical self is a witness and narrates the extraordinary events that occur around him. Once again it is at night and in the dreams, in the imagination of the lyrical self's "perverted" mind that the figures appear in the mist. The Evil causes more fear when it is unknown and merely implied than when it is clearly described. The number attributed to the Beast (666 as described in the Revelation) is mentioned and the "Beast" takes over the singing at the end, from the verse "I'm coming back I will return". This is a Lucifer of fire, with strength and power, the Satan of the end-of-the-times war. In sum, through this small selection of songs it was possible to see the relationship ­ sometimes intentional, others not ­ between Satanism and rock'n'roll, the musical movement that confronts that which society prefers to ignore, celebrates what is abjured and is indulgent with the things that people fear most. The Devil, as a symbol of rebelliousness, is the best image to represent this attitude of rejection of rules. Through these songs it is possible to verify that his characterization is reconstructed in various ways, from the Fallen Angel to the grotesque and bestial being, or the holder of knowledge and freedom, the symbol of luxury, excesses and laughter, to the superstar model of the media, thus returning, once more, to the agenda of contemporary society.
Ciberteologia - Revista de Teologia & Cultura - Ano VI, n. 27]
As some theologians have affirmed a long time ago, Lucifer was the maestro of the celestial courts. It seems that humankind's problems began with the music, with the Devil, the father of rock'n'roll.
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Translated by Vera Lъcia de Mello Joscelyne
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